Expect Higher Fresh Fruit Prices This Year

You’ve heard it since you were a kid: for good health, eat more fresh fruits.

But, to do it, it’s going to cost you more.

USDA Economist and Food Price Tracker, Carolyn Chelius, said consumers in 2019 and 2020 got a break on fresh fruits with prices down both years. She noted, last year, fresh fruits was the only category to see a price decrease. But this is 2021, and fresh fruit on average is costing about 5.5% more than a year ago at this time and since the start of this year.

“We’ve seen a 3.3% price increase for fresh fruits so far in 2021,” Chelius noted.

Where are prices climbing the most?

“Citrus prices have really increased and are driving a lot of that change.”

In March, citrus fruit prices were 10% higher than March of last year; oranges prices were up 8% year-over-year.
One reason for the increase, supply. The Ag Department says the U.S. orange crop this year is going to be 15% below last year due to dry weather and citrus diseases in Florida.  Storms and freezes are impacting other citrus growing areas as well. 

If you have a story idea for the PNW Ag Network, call (509) 547-1618, or e-mail [email protected]

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